Oh boy! How about 300km/h, topless, in McLaren’s V8 supercar

  • All the exhilaration of open-air high-speed driving
  • Third bodystyle in McLaren’s Sport Series product family
  • Retractable hard-top tech proven in other McLaren Spiders
2017 McLaren 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress
2017 McLAREN 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress

WOKING, England – The just-launched 2017 McLaren 570S Spider has all the dynamism and refinement of the 570S Coupé but with the extra exhilaration of open-air motoring.

The cars are hand-assembled in Woking, England, and the 570S Spider, its maker says “is the most attainable McLaren Spider yet”.

“It brings supercar attributes such as carbon-fibre construction, a mid-engine layout and extreme performance for the first time to the luxury sport convertible segment as the third body style for the two-seat, rear-wheel drive 570S,” the automaker said.

2017 McLaren 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress
2017 McLAREN 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress

“It will be in showrooms alongside the Coupé and the GT, though compared to the Coupé, the Spider adds a neatly integrated but retractable hard top that, when opened, delivers an even more immersive and exhilarating driving experience.”

The two-piece roof uses powered technology from the McLaren 650S and 675LT Spider models that includes light composite panels to create a sleek appearance whether up or down.

‘MOST ATTAINABLE YET’

McLaren says there are no performance penalties. “The Spider has the same electrifying pace, dynamic excellence, impressive refinement.  The carbon-fibre MonoCell II chassis at the heart of all Sport Series cars loses no strength or chassis stiffness in convertible guise – there are no additional structural actions.”

This allowed McLaren engineers to design and develop the 570S Spider without concerns that are potentially a significant issue with steel or aluminium structures.

READ MORE McLaren features here on Carman’s Corner

Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive, told The Corner in a media release: “The Spider is the most attainable to date yet adds yet a dimension to our Sport Series family – it’s a convertible without compromise, its mid-engine layout and carbon-fibre MonoCell II chassis guarantee the same dynamic performance and driver involvement of the Coupé but with the added attraction of a retractable roof that delivers the exhilaration of roof-down motoring.”

Just in time for the English summer…

2017 McLaren 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress
2017 McLAREN 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress

The roof folds beneath a tonneau cover that rises automatically to accommodate the lowered panels then returns to closed with soft-close technology.   The operation takes 15 seconds and can be instigated at up to 40km/h.

A glass slipstream deflector can be raised to reduce buffeting.

WEATHER NO PROBLEM

An optional sport exhaust system can channel the exhaust note to the cabin features an ESG to channel exhaust sound through the space beneath the roof cover.

The retractable top, Lotus emphasises, was designed to withstand the most severe weather and won’t fade as do some fabric roofs. The combination of carbon-fibre construction and potent 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine, its maker says, “means the Spider is more powerful and lighter than comparable convertibles.

The car’s power-to-weight ratio is listed as 312kW/tonne (lightest dry weight), the engine a twin-turbo McLaren M838TE unit capable of 425kW at 7500rpm and 600Nm from 5000-6500rpm driving through a seven-speed seamless-shift gearbox.

Launch-control tech makes possible a 0-100km/h time of 3.2sec with 200km/h arriving in 9.6sec. Top speed is 328km/h (roof up) – identical to that of the 570S Coupé. Try it with the roof down and you can watch the countryside flash backwards at up to 315km/h.

DOUBLE-WISHBONE SUSPENSION ALL ROUND

The McLaren has a stop/start system to help keep overall fuel consumption down to a possible 10.7 litres/100km.

The Spider has track-style double-wishbone suspension all-round with steel springs, twin-valve adaptive dampers, and anti-roll bars calibrated to the same specification as the 570S Coupé.

“Body control,” McLaren asserts, “is exceptional, the overall drive incredibly pure and rewarding, the comfort impressive and the driver to choose Normal, Sport or Track modes for progressively softer or firmer suspension.

“This versatility ensures that the Spider is as at ease in everyday use as it is on a race-track.”

2017 McLaren 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress
2017 McLAREN 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress

Electro-hydraulic steering assistance, carbon-ceramic brakes and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres are standard, the automaker adds, and the latest chassis software will enhance driving experience and safety.

A system developed for F1 racing, called Brake Steer, helps with safe cornering through reducing understeer by subtly braking the inside rear wheel through a curve. Traction control calibrated by McLaren adds precise control in extremis and stability control includes, McLaren says, a dynamic mode to lessen intervention and so increase drifting ability.

The shell’s design includes a rear spoiler that’s 12mm taller than that of the 570S Coupé t offset the aerodynamic changes caused by the different rear upper body design.

2017 McLaren 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress
2017 McLAREN 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress

“The cabin,” McLaren says, “blends exceptional craftsmanship, quality and technology –  hand-stitched leather upholstery, door casings, facia and a centre console hosts a 25cm TFT main instrument cluster and a centrally 19cm touchscreen will control aircon and infotainment.”

Buyers can choose either the standard six-way-adjustable or optional eight-way adjustable powered memory seats – the latter at extra cost. Light carbon-fibre sport seats can also be specified.
“Three body colours,” McLaren says, “celebrate the Spider’s introduction – two shades of blue or yellow joining the existing Sport Series palette and taking colour choice to 20. The new hues dramatically showcase the complex forms of the aluminium bodywork and unique-in-class dihedral doors, particularly if combined with an optional dark grey contrast finish on the roof, windscreen pillars and rear buttresses.”

2017 McLaren 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress
2017 McLAREN 570S CONVERTIBLE: Image: McLaren / Newspress

A new 10-spoked forged-alloy wheel-rim design (19″ front, 20″ rear) has been created as another option for the Spider. A new black brake calliper colour is also available.

The cars are being sold worldwide through more than 80 dealers, hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in southern, England.

The car will have its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 29 2017. First deliveries, the automaker says, are scheduled for August 2017.

FIND OUT MORE about McLaren cars in Johannesburg and Cape Town

McLaren 570S Spider technical specification
Engine: 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8
Drivetrain: Longitudinal mid-engined, RWD
Power/torque: 419kW at 7500rpm, 600Nm from 5000-6500rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed seamless-shift DSG
Suspension:  Independent adaptive shock-absorbers, dual wishbones with Normal, Sport and Track modes
Steering: Electro-hydraulic; power-assisted
Brakes: Carbon-ceramic discs (394mm front, 380mm rear) with six-piston front and four-piston rear aluminium callipers
Wheels:  Front: 8J x 19″, rear: 10J x 20″
Tyres:  Front 225/35 R19, rear 285/35 R20
Body dimensions: Length 4.530m, wheelbase 2.670m, height 1.202m, width (inc mirrors) 2.045m
Lightest dry weight: 1 359kg
Luggage capacity: 150 litres (tonneau space 52 litres)

…and finally the price. From £164 750 in the UK (for guidance only, about R2 718 000, June 2017)

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